Skepticat_UK is

Maria MacLachlan

Accolades & Quackolades

"There are ~20 published reviews of my book, but this one must be THE BEST! THANK YOU."
Edzard Ernst

"Best blog of the day IMHO."
Simon Singh

"This blogpost is simply brilliant."
Mark Burnley

"You are a rude argumentative bully. You are a typical "skeptic" - not sceptical at all."
Andrew, anti-vaxer

"Your piece about House of Commons Science and Technology sub-Committee’s ‘evidence check’ on homeopathy was one of the best I’ve seen. Strength to your elbow."

" individual calling themselves ‘scepticat’ or ‘sceptikat’- a highly volatile dictatorial site run by a wannabe megalomaniac. A truly disturbed person with a anger management issue venting via their little site to their own personal herd of sycophants."
Centella, one of Dr Andrew Jones personal herd of sycophants.

"Excellent report, which I can vouch for completely."
Jack of Kent

"The ludicrous nature of the complaint, and some of the responses by Dr Ranj and the BBC, has already been expertly documented on the Skepticat UK blog".
Dean Burnett

"Choke on your own vomit and die in agony..."
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"A very good rebuttal…"
Anna Watson, anti-vaxer Arnica UK

"A staggering amount of pathological disbelief allied with a staggering amount of arrogance."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"I just love this blog, and this post is a fine example of it’s content – ‘Inside the spine wizard’s den’ – Skepticat. Why do some of us feel that we are above challenging argument and peer review? I just wish that I could write as well as some of these bloggers!"
Jonathan Hearsey, osteopath

"Skepticat is a particularly venomousness (sic) skeptic, a humanist who lives by the "golden rule", she refused to let me follow her on twitter because I am "bonkers" which may endear her to many in the chiropractic profession..."
Richard Lanigan, chiropractor

Facebook image helpfully captioned by Sandra A Hermann-Courtney (@brownbagpantry)

"Die Die die die!"
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"Loved that article. It really shows what chiropractors are really all about. What I call the "chiro show" Exposing people to totally unnecessary X-rays should be criminal. Thank you!"

"I think skepticat is plain mad at not having children of her own. Hatred projected out to the world. It's sad to see someone with so much self hatred, destroying themself internally without even realising it."
Bebo, chiropractor (Note: In fact I'm the proud mother of two brilliant children, whom I mention frequently. Glad of the excuse to do so again.)

"Hooray for Reason! Just want to thank you for writing this. Even though the arguments presented are tired, and played out, they still must be refuted."

"I understand that you have been traumatised by your experience and that this is your way of coming to terms with the emotional scars."
Stefaan Vossen, chiropractor

"All you really seem interested in is banging your repetitive drum and preaching to the converted."
Rick, osteopath

"All the entries I’ve read are excellent. I’ll be coming back to read more. Love the cat logo as well."

"Research in Homeopathy Conference - Skepticat's hilarious account. She went to it."
David Colquhoun

"Her site is Skepticat UK... she wouldn’t know a punchline if it raped her. Or maybe she’d thank it."
Scott Cappurro, comedian

"I rather love the lunacy of the anti-Homeopathists, such as yourself."
James Pannozzi, acupuncturist & would-be homeopath

"Good blog from a skeptic which examines the "science" of Homeopathy in a very detailed way. Skeptics will love this. Proponents of homeopathy? Not so much."

"I really shouldn’t waste my valuable time with someone who obviously has at the very least a borderline personality disorder."
Erika Alisuag, homeopathist

"I’m finding it difficult to come up with some suitable words to say how good and interesting your stuff is. So, in the absence of suitable hyperbole can I say what a very well written and presented blog you have here. Really well thought out and researched. And passionate about it too! Complimenti!"

"You’re whole life is worthless because you lack reason."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Great stuff Skepticat."

"When you have learnt some big words and also studied your history books you’ll find that the world was once thought to be flat…by people just like you."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Thanks for keeping the banner of reason flying high."
John Willis Lloyd

"This is just a general comment. I love this well-written an unfussy little blog (I don’t mean little in a derogatory way, but in the sense it’s not bombastic, self-important and posturing). Excellent material and a worthwhile focus, keep up the good work."

"Her website is a temple to diatribe – I have no sympathy for the homeopaths, etc, with whom she battles, but she clearly gets off on confrontation."
JF Derry

"Skepticat is strictly logical and attacks in unparliamentary words what she deems to be “quackery” – or suggestions that she sounds a little strident."
Andy Reporter

"LOVE the badass attitude! Seriously...KEEP IT UP!"

"You were a playful little diversion for a. moment, but I do have better things to do with my time than waste more than half an hour of it stooping down to play your ego supporting self delusional mind games……"
Susan Elizabeth, homeopathist

"An excellent read, thanks for taking thr time to compose it."
Alan C

"You need to do a course in anger management."
katenut, nutritionist

"FWIW I think you manage your anger rather well...mostly by focusing it into a thin, narrow beam of incisive rage which you then use to inscribe words on screen. ;)"

"Excellent description of the events."
Simon Perry

"You seem to be of probably well-meaning, but bigoted and fundamentalist disposition, just parroting slogans from others without any really knowledge or insight yourself."
Neil Menzies

"Superb, as usual"

"You seem only interested in ranting against an enemy which you are apparently still struggling to come to terms with “fifteen years” later."
Rick, osteopah

"Bravo, great post!"

"One day if you are not very careful you will be left behind in the dark ages. I’m sure this will not be printed..but hope it is read by you poor little scaredy cats."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Brilliant piece!"

"While you babble on like a total airhead about Myhill, you ignore the real doctors who are a danger in the UK".
struck-off doctor, Rita Pal, 'NHS whistle-blower'

"I sincerely hope I never get to your stage of wilful ignorance. You know absolutely diddly squat about the subject but you think your opinion is the only opinion."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Keep up the spin, you manky old chicken's foot."
JB, chiropractor

"I am forced to conclude you are blogging on behalf of a specific entity that does wish to remain anonymous."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"The person writing all this negative press on homeopathy must be getting a big fat check from one of the pharmaceutical companies who would dearly love to push homeopathy off the map."
Erika Alisuag

"Such reporting lands you clearly in the realm of fundamentalist extremism–much noise, no substance, and money from those who have something to sell. It is so unfortunate that your listening skills are in need of repair."
Tanya Marquette, homeopath

"She seems to revel in presenting the many insults that she has attracted as a column of “Quackolades” on her site, as if war wounds on display,"
JF Derry, self-publicist

"Oh shut up SK. You write hot air and spew rubbish as usual."
Rita Pal again.

WHO needs to grow a pair?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally come out and whispered that, in spite of its public policy of supporting the integration of alternative therapies into national health systems, it doesn’t actually recommend the use of homeopathy for HIV, malaria, TB, influenza and infant diarrhoea.

Goodness me! I do hope this staggering confession, which was squeezed like blood from a stone by researchers and medics from the Voice of Young Science network, offends anyone with quackish sensibilities.

The group had circulated an open letter in June calling on the WHO to

condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV. Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases. Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed. When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost…Many people in developing countries urgently need access to evidence-based medical information and to the most effective means of treating these dangerous diseases. The promotion of homeopathy as effective or cheaper makes this difficult task even harder. It puts lives at risk, undermines conventional medicine and spreads misinformation.

A press release issued today by Sense about Science gives the impression that a hard time was had combing through the individual responses from WHO officials for usable quotes. What they found was basically the same quote mumbling that the WHO guidelines recommend evidence-based medicine, which homeopathy isn’t. Thanks, WHO, we hear you. Just about. A couple of the responders were gracious (brave?) enough to thank or congratulate the group on their efforts but all responses stop short of the outright condemnation requested and needed, thereby confirming that there are foxes guarding the hen-house, something I’d already surmised from the WHO policy on what they politely call traditional medicine (TM).

In countries where the dominant health care system is based on allopathic medicine, or where TM has not been incorporated into the national health care system, TM is often termed complementary, alternative or non-conventional medicine (TC/CAM).

Note the use of the derogotary term “allopathic” which, according to wiki, was originally coined by Sam Hahnemann, the inventor of homeopathy and which I’ve only ever seen used before by quacks and their quackpot supporters. Bit of a give-away, isn’t it?

Frankly, I’m disgusted at the WHO’s pussy-footing around on this issue. Every day I receive website alerts that tell me how desperate people all over the world are being conned by unscrupulous homeoquacks and it’s about time the WHO grew a pair and condemned homeopathy outright for the quackery it is. That WHO doesn’t recommend homeopathy for life threatening disease shouldn’t even be news.

Today, for example, my attention was drawn to this website, which unashamedly asserts that “homeopathy can offer an effective cure to [sic] swine flu” and yesterday I found this one, which claims infertility in men can be cured with homeopathy.

According to his reports, his sperm count was only 2 million. Also, the viability and motility of his spermatozoa were nil. The doctor prescribed homeopathic medicines for him, asked him to follow up every month and advised him to get his semen analysis done once every 6 months.

Mr. Naryanmurthy, already impatient, got his semen analysis done in the 4th month itself instead. Much to his delight, he found that his sperm count had increased to 30 million, 2% of the spermatozoa were alive at the end of 3 hours and their motility had increased to 5%.

I think the foxes at the WHO would thoroughly approve of this “doctor”, judging by how they describe the traditional medicine they want to see integrated into national health systems:

Traditional medicine (TM) is the sum total of the knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not….

It doesn’t sound as if the small matter of biological plausibility is something the foxes worry about too much.

OK, I know that claiming to cure infertility isn’t like claiming to cure malaria or TB. It doesn’t put lives at risk. But stories like that one, which are obviously blatant lies, are read and believed by the ignorant and the gullible who then put their own and other lives at risk by relying on homeopathy instead of seeking proper treatment for serious diseases.

The happy news about Mr Naryanmurthy’s astonishingly improved sperm count is followed by this extraordinary comment from the narrator:

This case proves right the homeopathic principle that when you treat the root cause of a disease, its effects get taken care of automatically.

Huh? Since when has that been a homeopathic principle? And how exactly does this case prove it? For a different homeopathic principle, here’s Jayne Thomas of the Society of Homeopaths (an organisation that can only be described as a shambles and a bad joke*).

(Homeopathy) relieves symptoms. We don’t treat individual diseases as disease labels. Homeopathy works by treating people individually and whatever spectrum of symptoms they experience, that’s what we treat…For me to say homeopathy treats XYZ disease would not be correct or appropriate. For me to say homeopathy treats the symptoms that may be related to a particular disease is a far more accurate picture of what homeopathy actually does.


So no treating the root cause of the disease then, Jayne? These blighters seem to make things up as they go along!

From my extensive reading on the subject, I think the list of “homeopathic principles” numbers about two and a half. The first principle is the ludicrous idea of treating like with like or whatever caused the problem can cure it (I am just itching to know what remedy was given to treat Mr Naryanmurthy’s low sperm count). The second is the unhinged idea that the more something is diluted, the more potent it is. And the half covers the somewhat nebulous notions of treating people individually/treating the “whole person”, when we all know that what this really means is giving the patients plenty of time to talk and feigning an interest in all the minutiae of their daily lives, most of which are totally irrelevant (see my definitive explanation of homeopathy for an example of a homeopath’s questionnaire). The latter “principle” is, of course, undermined by the fact that homeopathic remedies are on sale in high street chemists shops allowing customers to self-prescribe in a matter of seconds and allowing the manufacturers to line their pockets very nicely, thank you.

Anyway, I’m done with ranting for today. For a look at the evil Society of Homeopath’s response to the WHO story and an analysis of same, I refer you to today’s post on the quackometer blog:

*The Society of Homeopaths are a Shambles and a Bad Joke.

5 Responses to WHO needs to grow a pair?

  • This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read…:)

  • Bill,

    Your continual efforts to spam my blog are wasted. All your comments go straight to my spam bin where I choose either to delete them or to remove the url for the loan shark website you are promoting before approving them.

    Now why don’t you just eff off?

  • I don’t know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

  • Why thank you for your kind – and very original – comment, Tony. I’m so glad you enjoy this blog. Please come back and post nice comments as often as you want. 😉

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